Nostalgia is a form of depression. The cliche has its roots in truth, but in this case, it’s a reminder of joy. The 2005 Washington Nationals were an exciting team that brought the national game back to the nation’s capital after an unconscionable 34 year absence. It didn’t seem real back then — when my then fiancee went to the first exhibition game in RFK Stadium or on Opening Day in Philadelphia a few days later when two friends and I went practically on a whim. When they started the season 50-31, it was so incredible that a 31-50 finish couldn’t dim the appreciation for a magical first season.
I blogged about the new Nats almost daily; something I would continue for several years. Now, it’s more sporadic. However, in celebration of a decade of D.C. baseball and that incredible 2005 season, I have been sharing those original blog posts in three places:
my twitter account:
this blog’s Facebook page
Washington, D.C. Baseball History Facebook page
I’ll be linking to blog posts ten years after the events described in them happened which means 10 years minus 1 day in most cases.
Since these blog posts are 10 years old, there is going to be a lot of dead links being pointed at and that cannot be helped. Also, some of the blog posts got lost through migrations over the years and have been rebuilt. The good news is these new blog posts and really, all of them, are cleaned up a little bit and tagged better.
Oh and that’s not your imagination, that’s really the voice of John Chancellor reading them back to you in your head, just like he did for Ken Burns’ Baseball.
It took several years for me to get past the “I can’t believe we finally have a team” and think of all of this as normal. I think being able to share the Nats with my oldest son helped make it seem real in some respects. I’m so glad he and his younger brother get to grow up having a baseball team just a Metro ride (or eventually a bike ride) away.
Let’s hope that 2015 is a wonderful season for the Nats. I hope you’ll join me in remembering the 2005 one that was so unexpected.
Five years ago, the Washington Nationals were on top of the world – The Post
The Washington Nationals shocking first half of the 2005, especially the month of June, is recalled by the original Post beat writer, Barry Svrluga. It was simply a magical time when the reality of a D.C. baseball team exceeded the dream. They swept an entire homestand, including my bachelor party game at the end against the Seattle Mariners. Junior Speivey hit a home run that day — Junior Speivey!
Several of the players from that team, Brad Wilkerson, John Patterson and Jose Vidro are out of baseball. Only Cristian Guzman and Livan Hernandez are on the Nats now; the former missed a whole season due to injury and the latter was traded the next year and played for 4 other teams before coming back to D.C. Perhaps the key player in the whole drama was Jose Guillen who alternately sparked the Nats against the Angels and who turned on them after a Pedro Martinez bean ball.
It is a great read and also worth noting that the 2010 Nats also started out with a 26-26 record.
I have not been paying very much attention to the continuing saga of the Nats ballpark this week, it is getting very old and not much is really happening or will be for sometime. Anyhow, here are a few articles from the past few days:
D.C. Metro Fund Weighed To Boost Navy Yard Stop
Land Sale Possible To Fund Stadium
City official: Lease still weeks away
There may not be a vote until February. Ugh.
Oh yeah, the Nats picked up a pitcher (ESPN.com), Ramon Ortiz too.
Powell Gives Thoughts On Stadium Deal – WRC-TV
Former Secretary Of State Colin Powell was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. The two talked about a bunch of unimportant things for a while and then the topic of the Nats came up. The transcript follows:
Buying the Nationals?
Stephanopoulos: You mentioned Washington, D.C. You want to be owner of the Washington, D.C., baseball team, the Nationals.
Powell: Well, I’m on a club that is trying to purchase the Washington Nationals from Major League Baseball, yes.
Stephanopoulos: Think you’re going to get it?
Powell: I certainly hope so. The first thing we have to get is the stadium issue resolved. And the city council has now put that off until early next year.
And I hope the city council will find a way to support the stadium deal. That will work itself out one way or the other. And I think, after that, Major League Baseball will announce who they wish to see own the team.
And I’m fairly confident in the group I’m with, led by Fred Malek, a longtime Washington resident. And there are a lot of us on that club who have roots in this community.
And I think we can do, perhaps, a better job than any other group to represent the interests of the community and to make sure that the Washington Nationals reach out to the community, bring baseball back into the inner city, get more young African-American kids and other minority kids interested in baseball.
Stephanopoulos: Frank Robinson talked about that all the time.
Powell: Yes. And we can can do it. I think our club is perhaps better positioned for doing that.
But, George, you’re giving me a golden opportunity to talk about my club and my company, but there are seven other competitors as well. They’re not as good as us, of course.
Stephanopoulos: Well, it sounds like you think you’re going to get it, then.
You can read the whole transcript here from This Week here: Powell on Iraq, Domestic Spying and Baseball